Fighting fund launched to save Cannock Cricket Club after ground locked up
Cannock Cricket Club has launched a fighting fund to raise £10,000 after being locked out of its home ground.
The Save Cannock Cricket Club campaign has already raised around £2,000 from members and friends within hours of the internet funding bid going live at the weekend.
It comes as the club's base at Chase Park, in Hatherton, is due to go under the hammer at an internet auction tomorrow after receivers were called in last month.
The club, along with Cannock Hockey Club, was locked out following a dispute over plans to redevelop the 25-acre Church Lane site in a scheme which would have seen both organisations build new clubhouses with the the existing large pavilion redeveloped into apartments.
Without its own home, the cricket club has been forced to play games at other grounds - incurring extra costs when its income has massively dwindled due to a loss of income following the lockout.
'We don't know what the future holds'
Cricket club chairman Dave Robinson said he was encouraged by the early success of the campaign to raise funds but they needed more to secure their future until the end of the summer and into next year.
"We just don't know what the future holds at the moment," he said.
"We need to raise several thousand pounds just to cover our costs until the end of the season let alone secure our future into next year and hopefully beyond.
"We've lost at great deal of income as we are having to pay to use other clubs' pitches and while we have been training away from our own ground, we don't have as many children coming to practice."
He added: "That means we're not getting nearly as much from subs and we would also raise much-needed funds by selling things like hotdogs and cakes from our kitchen. With all that being under lock and key, we can't do that and it's having a major effect on our funds.
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"We've been going for 159 years and we're desperately trying to continue but we need the help of the people of Cannock and the wider cricket family across Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
"No-one likes having to go cap in hand and our members have been really generous to get the campaign running. If anyone can help us, we will be truly grateful."
The crisis took hold after Sport England, which holds a legal charge on a hockey pitch on the land, initially refused to accept anything less than a 15-year lease for the clubs while the developer, Craig Watts Ltd, was only prepared to offer a 10-year lease.
The site has now been put up for auction on Wednesday by a Dublin-based auction site.